Ethics Ethics can often be an abstract and complex concept, with varying degrees of debate surrounding popular and/or controversial ethical theories. Ethics play a significant role in establishing organizational values and refers to the standards for morally right and wrong conduct in business. Law partially defines societal ethics, but “legal” and “ethical” are not necessarily the same. Historically, the government has found it necessary to intervene in questions of ethics relating to business practices. For example, The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting most full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. Ethics are interconnected withintegrity, respect, trust, fairness, transparency, and honesty. Ethics in Leadership There has never been a heavier spotlight on the importance of strong ethics in leadership. Organizations are held responsible for the ethical implications of their leadership's decisions in the court of public opinion. Losing the trust and respect of the communities that you serve is a sure path to disaster. We have no room for questionable ethics as leaders. We owe it to our organizations, our followers, and our peers to exhibit and promote strong values and sound moral judgment. Ethical leadership must be a conscious decision. There are real world consequences for ethical slips made by leaders, including very serious legal repercussions. Furthermore, people will not follow an unethical leader for long.
Artifact In Organizational Ethics (OGL 345) we studied multiple, fundamental ethical theories and the ability to analyze ethical systems of thought. It was incredibly interesting to study different situations from multiple ethical perspectives. In one of our modules, we chose an organization that had faced ethical dilemmas and observed the situation through the theoretical lens of our choice. My artifact is my paper on Napster and the ethical implications of file-sharing on their platform during the late ‘90s and early 2000’s.
Reflection Ethics in Organizational Leadership I cannot emphasize enough the importance of ethics and a strong moral compass in Organizational Leadership. Most of the courses we take in the organizational leadership program have a section at the end of each chapter or an entire chapter near the end of the book dedicated to ethics in leadership. Almost everyimportant decision an organizational leader will make has ethical implications and consequences. Furthermore, it is impossible to gain follower support or respect from peers if a leader is viewed as corrupt and immoral by the organization. Such a leader would not find allies in other department leaders, support from stakeholders, or opportunities for organizational advancement.
Personal Growth & Development I gained a lot of insight and benefit from the many case studies, organizational assessments, and company spotlights I examined over my OGL program. For me, the many examples of “what not to do” that can be found throughout the history of organizational development in America have been eye-opening (and sometimes downright disturbing). Insider trading and corporate corruption have changed the way that modern organizations, leaders, and consumers view ethical dilemmas. It is no longer acceptable for leaders to do the bare minimum. My classes have further reiterated my belief that ethical leadership is the most important competency I have developed.